On Sunday March 19th, 2023, Mr. Richinel Brug released a statement officially announcing his candidacy on the URSM. Brug, is no stranger to the political arena as he has been an active member in the community for most of his life. Brug was born in Curacao and moved to Sint Maarten when he was five years old. He was raised in Town, by Antillean and West-Indian parents, his parents instilled in him strong Christian values and principals. “I believe it is my responsibility to contribute to a better Sint Maarten for not only myself and my family, but for all Sint Maarteners.
Brug, a civil servant in the Ministry of Education for almost a decade, served as a member of the Cabinet of the former Minister of Justice, Mr. Raphael Boasman. He also worked in Parliament in the capacity of senior policy officer in the faction of former Vice President of Parliament, Mr. Romain Laville. During his tenure in Parliament, he played an intricate role in the initial researching and structuring process to create the “Healthfast” Breakfast Program that provided breakfast to children in all Public Schools. He contributed to two draft MOUs. A MOU between the Government of Dominica and Sint Maarten, providing five free scholarships for Sint Maarten students to study medicine and agriculture in Dominica and Cuba. A second MOU between Newark, New Jersey and the Government of Sint Maarten, providing In-State tuition for our students to study at Rutgers University. Unfortunately, even though ratified by the respective country and state, these MOUs were never ratified by the Government of Sint Maarten. Brug also worked on the District Cleaning project leading to the restructuring of the entire garbage contract in Sint Maarten. This allowed our young men in the different neighborhoods an opportunity to partake in cleaning projects.
In addition, Brug worked on several motions passed on the floor of Parliament. One very important motion Brug worked on tirelessly as a senior policy officer in Parliament, was the motion passed on April 17th, 2013. This motion was a result of the mass layoffs of the Pelican Saga. The motion instructed the then Minister of Labor to amend the labor laws governing Sint Maarten to include an article on the protection of employees and their rights by transfer of ownership of a company, as is done in the Netherlands, in accordance with the then Book 7 of the Dutch Civil Code, title 10, section B, Articles 662-666 (“rechten van werknemers bij overgang”). After an entire decade this motion that was presented in Parliament: became law last year!
On Monday March 20th, 2023, Brug was a guest on the live Table Talk Facebook program of the URSM. During this program he further elaborated on his reasons why he chose the URSM party. He explained: “since resigning from my former political party in December 2022, I immediately began searching in consultation with family, close friends, and supporters, for an alternative political party. Sitting out any election is not an option as long as our people continue to live in hardship, without adequate representation in both the executive and legislative branches of Government. I have been searching for a party which shares my values and principles. In my opinion it is high time we start to elect men and women of integrity to Parliament. We owe it to the previous generations and those to come.”
“The political party must share my stands regarding issues that continuously plague our people: the core objective is to truly serve and improve the quality of life of all the citizens of Sint. Maarten. I emphasize on Integrity as it is a core pillar of Good Governance. I believe in the empowerment of all citizens and equal opportunity for all. I believe in a party that is led by a leader that is competent and has a vision for Sint Maarten.”
“At the end of my search, the URSM, a movement not a party, stood out the most amongst all currently established and new political parties. URSM has a completely new approach for its formation and operation of its organization”, said Brug.
Some key factors that led to his decision to join URSM are the continues empowerment of its members and potential candidates through seminars and trainings with entities such as the SER and the Integrity Chamber, and the practice of screening candidates before joining the list to create stability within the party and develop team building.
Leader of the URSM Dr. Luc Mercelina expressed his gratitude to Mr. Brug for joining the movement. “I am elated to have Richinel Brug on board. Mr. Brug is a man of principals, who continues to serve the Sint Maarten people in different capacities. He is ready to represent our people in Parliament and I am happy he chose the URSM as his vehicle to positively change Sint Maarten.”
Brug concluded by asking everyone to join him on his journey with the URSM as he contests the upcoming elections with the aim to truly help the people of Sint Maarten. He promised to prove his LEGISLATIVE case to be elected as a Member of Parliament.